Welcome to my blog! This is where I do my writing – where I put my thoughts on paper if you will. Stories of my past, current events, maybe even posts dedicated to my interest! If you like what I write, or if you have any suggestions, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
As high school students start searching for colleges, size becomes a key part of the decision. It all depends on the students, their personality, what kind of experience they are looking for and the background they’re coming from. Even if students think going to a Christian school would be the last thing on their lists, I encourage them to at least visit one; you may just fall in love. I picked a small Christian school, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
I didn’t always love it here, and to be honest, sometimes I still don’t. There were a lot of times where I hated this place and wanted nothing more than to transfer. However, looking back at where I was at that time in my life, I am so glad that something in me and this community made me stay and come back for more.
The first thing I am thankful for is the fact that it sheltered me from the typical college experience. That’s what I hated about going to a Christian university at first. I would always hear stories from my friends back home, and a part of me wanted their crazy college experiences because my crazy stories hardly compared. I was always so tempted by that lifestyle but being at a Christian college, those type of worldly things weren’t happening. Don’t get me wrong, though. I have messed up many times. I’ve made poor decisions and broken some rules. But as I look back, I can’t imagine what the temptations would be like if I were at a bigger public university. The active attempts by the school staff to shield us from negative influences are a huge lifesaver, I think.
Another thing I love about going to a small Christian college is the opportunity it has given me to get involved inside and outside of the classroom. Going to a small school means having small class sizes. I came from a small high school with a graduating class of just a little over a hundred, so I’ve always been used to smaller class sizes. Going to college though where there are about 2,000 of us throughout the whole campus, I find myself in smaller classes than I was even in high school and I love it. My class sizes range from seven to 20 students. My professors know me and hold me accountable for my work, and I love that, compared to being just another face in a crowd.
Not only do my professors know me but so do my classmates, and they aren’t afraid to hold you accountable, too. Being at a Christian school, you have certain standards and expectations you’re expected to uphold. By going here, I’m in many ways more spiritually mature now than I was in high school, although I still struggle immensely in several areas. I just know I would be dead meat if the “real world” were fully accessible to me. Everyone here is trying to reach the same goals in life so when they see you slipping, they aren’t afraid to call you out and then try and help you get back on the right track. I love that. I feel like going to a Christian school has helped me grow up and realize what I want out of this world. Even though it’s not the “cool” thing to do, I’m pretty happy with my decision.
Being a student-athlete isn’t always the easiest. Of course, it has its perks like automatically knowing you have a set of friends that will be stuck with you for the next four years. Most of the time, though, it’s a struggle. Trying to find your balance between sports, school, relationships and finding anytime just to relax—it can be difficult and stressful.
Let’s start off with how little time we have. In the mornings, I’m up before the sun for 6 a.m. conditioning. If I’m lucky, I’ve got time for a shower and breakfast before I go to class. Then as soon as class is over for the day, I’ve got practice. Then I rush back to the cafeteria just to get the scraps on the bottom of the dishes. After that, it’s time to do homework. Finally, once the day is done, if I’m feeling rebellious, I might stay up a little late (late as in past 9 p.m.) to watch some TV. Usually, though, I’m in bed before my grandma so that I can do it all over again the next day. Also, if you’re one of those people who complains about not having any time, and you’re not an athlete or you don’t work, I kind of hate you.
Next comes academics. Time management is huge because honestly, after my long day, I don’t always want to come back and do work. I mean, who really wants to do homework anyways? It’s even worse when your team goes away for events. People tell me how lucky I am I get to miss school a lot, but they don’t realize the tornado of anxiety I have inside of me on that bus ride home thinking of all of the missed assignments, plus the other work that I’m going to have to do as soon as I get back.
I live for the weekends, though, unless we are gone for a tournament. While some people look forward to the weekends as a time to go out and have fun, I look forward to the fact that I can sleep in and watch TV for however long I want. I also use the weekends to hang out with my friends. Even when you have time off, though, you’re just constantly thinking about the struggle that awaits you early Monday morning.
In the end, though, I wouldn’t trade this not-so-typical college lifestyle for anything else. It has taught me how to deal with pressure from not just myself, but from school, parents, the team and my coaches. I know how to be a team player, which will be helpful when I get out into the real world and am in a work environment. I will always cherish the memories I’ve made while being a student athlete. I’ve learned so many things that I can apply to my daily life, and it’s all thanks to sports.